EXPERTS TO SERVE YOU, SHIP TO SHORE
During your cruise you’ll be well taken of. Your Cruise Director will provide briefings about upcoming ports, coordinate social and cultural activities on board ship, and generally make sure that your experience is the best it can be. Your onboard Concierge can provide expert advice and assist with special requests, be it on-shore restaurant reservations to spa appointments to event tickets and more. And to guide your included shore excursions, we’ve selected the best Regional Experts. If your program includes a land stay (or if you have chosen an optional extension), you will also enjoy the services of a City Host at your hotel, who can help you plan your exploration.
CRUISE DIRECTORS MAKE YOUR TRIP “SMOOTH SAILING”
Your Vantage European river cruise will be led by a seasoned Cruise Director whose job it is to see to your comfort and satisfaction. Think of him or her as your onboard “host,” the person to turn to with questions about your itinerary, updates on the day’s activities, reservations for optional tours, and so much more.
Erna’s love affair with travel began with a six-month backpacking trip in the US, which led to a career as a multilingual tour guide and adventures in the US, Canada, and Latin America. These days she is back home in her native Netherlands, introducing Vantage travelers not only to canals and windmills but to the Dutch view of themselves and the world. “I know both the American society as well as the European society very well,” Erna says, “I can draw many comparisons between the two. And although our ways of life may seem the same, there are huge and very interesting differences to learn about.”
“Erna was very articulate, knowledgeable and pleasant. She was accessible plus ready to answer all questions, and provided a great cultural experience because she has lived in the US and the Netherlands.”
“I have come to realization that my passion for guiding travelers most likely stems from the fact that my grandfather was once a guide himself. From his numerous travels around the globe, he brought countless souvenirs, photographs, and books, many of which I have inherited and moved to my apartment. From his genes, I believe, comes my interest in European history, geography, visual arts, music, and religion.” Meet Martin, a passionate Slovak traveler who does what he loves for a living. Martin guides tours in English, German, Czech, Polish, and Slovak, while bringing travelers closer to the European cultural heritage and traditions.
NEW! ENHANCED COMPLIMENTARY WORLDWIDE CONCIERGE SERVICE
If you have a special request or personal interest you’d like to pursue during your journey, your Vantage Concierge is here to help. Even better, this new and complimentary service is available to all travelers — no matter what cabin category or flight class you’ve reserved (making us the best among other deluxe travel companies!).
Whether you want to plan an anniversary party, track down a bit of your family’s heritage in China, secure restaurant reservations in Paris, or organize an intimate pub crawl for your multigenerational group of family and friends in Ireland, our Concierge service can make your travel dreams come true.
Plus, Concierge service is available before or during your journey. Simply log in to MyPortfolio, submit a pre-trip request to Concierge@vantagetravel.com, or call 1-888-982-6824 and you'll have your answer from our Concierge within two business days. Travelers on our European river ships can also stop by the Concierge Desk (located in your ship’s lobby) to make a request during your journey; for land adventures and small ship cruises, your Adventure Leader or Cruise Director doubles as your onboard Concierge.
MEET THE CAPTAIN
The Wachau Valley is known for much more than its rolling hills, fortresses, and charming vineyards — the picturesque banks of the Danube inspired Captain Peter Schmidt from a very early age growing up in Austria. After finishing secondary school, he began an apprenticeship as a sailor at one of the country’s largest docks in Vienna, and then worked as a sailor on several ships and routes along the Danube.
Capt. Schmidt has been navigating the waters of Europe as a certified captain since 2009. “I’m fascinated by the water and wonderful landscapes along the rivers,” he says. “On Vantage cruises, I appreciate the family atmosphere on board and the contact I have with every passenger. At the end of a journey guests often become friends — I can’t image life without these special connections!”
When he’s not navigating, Capt. Schmidt enjoys exploring the cities where he’s sailing, and learning about new cultures, he says.
REGIONAL EXPERTS IN EACH PORT
No one knows a destination better than an insider, so in addition to your River Cruise Director, you’ll enjoy the services of experienced Regional Experts in each port during your included tours. Their deep command of regional history will certainly enrich your viewing of important attractions. But our “insiders” go a step beyond, sharing insights on behind-the-scenes aspects of local culture that ordinary tours usually overlook. How do families in this town get by? What is the legend about this cathedral? What do the decorations on a particular house mean? Your Regional Expert is eager to bring it all alive for you. All are fluent English speakers, and you won’t miss a word of their commentary as we provide complimentary audio headsets.